Bahamas and China’s New Visa Agreement

Go Lean Commentary

china_bahamas_visasSo the Bahamas has signed a new mutual visa exemption with China. At the SFE Foundation, we applaud the foreign policy initiative of the Bahamas Government and immediately ask some follow-up questions, as follows:

  • When Chinese tourists come to the Bahamas, will we be expecting them to bring currency in Yuan, Euros, Dollars, etc.?
  • Will there ever be a need for Chinese tourists to speak with the Bahamian population and are there any sorts of translation services available?
  • Why just the Bahamas? Why not the whole Caribbean region?
  • Why only China? There are other countries (Asian, Middle Eastern, European) where these types of agreements can benefit the region.

These questions show that opening new markets to different parts of the world are froth with challenges. But these are challenges that we must take on. In general, growth within the Caribbean for our traditional tourism target market, North America, has been flat or only slightly up; notwithstanding the years of decline during the Great Recession. We are only now approaching the type of numbers from before the 2008 financial crisis. This crisis taught us, or should have taught us, that we have to be more proactive and creative in managing our economic drivers. If we do what we’ve always done, then we would have learned nothing from the crisis. Perish that thought! So hooray for the efforts discussed in the foregoing article, but let’s not stop there!

By: The Caribbean Journal Staff

The new mutual visa exemption agreement between the Bahamas and China has officially taken effect.

The agreement, which was signed in December 2013, allows Bahamian and Chinese citizens to travel to one another’s country visa-free for up to 30 days. It does not allow the holder to engage in gainful employment, to study or reside in that country, however.

The move could be a boost for Chinese tourism to the Bahamas, particularly in light of the imminent opening of the China-funded Baha Mar resort project in New Providence at the end of this year [(2014)].

“While this Agreement will allow visa-free travel, visitors are still expected to meet general entry requirements when being processed by immigration authorities,” the Bahamian government said in a release. “Travelers are required to present a passport with valid relevant visas for transit States, and a round-trip ticket for entry and exit. Those that do not meet general entry requirements will be denied entry at any immigration check point.”

Those who wish to remain in the Bahamas for more than 30 days will still need a visa.


This commentary harmonizes with the missions of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation as described in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The book declares that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, quoting American Economist Paul Romer. The book provides strategic, tactical and operational plans to expand and exploit the tourism outreach for Asia, specifically and the whole world in general. The book emphatically details 10-Step advocacies to enhance regional tourism, impact events, promote fairgrounds, improve for cruise tourism and to better market the specific location of Southern California. For regional economics, the book details how to better manage Foreign Exchange and to foster empowering immigration.

Lastly, the Go Lean roadmap calls for the establishment of Trade Mission Offices in far-flung power cities in the world so as to enable trade expansion with different countries, including the Far East. The end result of this roadmap is growth in regional GDP to $800 Billion, creation of 2.2 million new jobs (30,000 specifically in tourism-related industries) and the manifestation of a plan to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play.

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – Now!

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